Zero Waste Scotland (ZSW) is offering £250,000 of support to projects that will help small businesses work together to boost recycling rates, ahead of new waste legislation
Under the new Waste (Scotland) Scottish Waste Regulations, which came into force on 17 May, all companies operating in Scotland will have to separate paper, plastic, metal and glass waste for recycling from 2014.
According to ZSW, the low volumes of waste generated by many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) mean that the most cost effective way to encourage compliance is through initiatives that see groups of businesses working together.
To encourage the creation of such projects ZSW has launched the SME Collaborative Recycling Programme 2012/13, and is calling for cooperatives of businesses or community consortiums to apply for funding.
Examples of projects eligible for a share of the £250,000 include the creation of a shared recycling facility, establishing a joint waste disposal contract for a group of SMEs and setting up a reverse logistics scheme – where one company picks up recyclable waste from clients.
“Supporting small business to work together to collect and manage commercial waste will allow them to overcome common problems which can make recycling seem challenging, such as lack of space to store recycling or low quantities making waste collection contracts more costly,” said Marissa Lippiatt, head of business support for Zero Waste Scotland.
Funding from the programme can be used to help set up costs or as capital for the purchase or lease of equipment, and ZSW is also offering support with developing the business case for initiatives and procurement processes.
Businesses interested in applying for funding must first register an expression of interest on ZSW’s website.
At the same time, ZSW’s UK-wide counterpart WRAP has announced a new collaboration of public and private-sector organisations that will work together to help reduce the environmental impacts of everyday consumer goods throughout their life cycle.
The Product Sustainability Forum (PSF), which is made up of more than 80 retailers, suppliers, academics and environmental groups, will carry out research into grocery and DIY products, to understand the waste, energy, greenhouse-gas emissions and resource implications throughout their life cycle, and make recommendations on how best to improve their harmful impacts.
“Many companies already measure the environmental impact of their products but until now, this has always been done in isolation, and the methodology and results have not been shared. By working together, we have a real opportunity to minimise the effect our activities have on the planet,” said WRAP’s chief executive, Dr Liz Goodwin.
“The PSF vision is that everyday products should be designed with resource efficiency in mind, minimising environmental impact and encouraging sustainable consumption and production.”
The PSF aims to publish a report this autumn identifying products with the most opportunity to improve environmental performance alongside plans of how to achieve such improvements.